The z72.52 moniker started as a joke among friends. z72.52 is the medical code for “high risk homosexual behavior” but more recently I have discovered it is a scarlet letter of sorts on the gay community. The medical code allows insurance providers to increase premiums or drop patients all together. The code is applied to an individuals records once they begin taking the HIV prevention drugs known as PrEP. Lots of kids in my community were dropped from their Obamacare once they started PrEP and were no longer able to receive any sort of insurance coverage. Many of them then realized it was easier to contract HIV because the city/state provide healthcare to positive individuals. This has caused the HIV infection rate in our city to skyrocket. Memphis metro now reports the highest rate of new HIV infections in the country. I hope the moniker will bring some attention to this problem and bring z72.52 into the vernacular of more gay people.
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